New bill may allow dogs at restaurants

A State law banning most animals from restaurants could change under legislation in the state House.

You may be able to bring your four-legged friend out to dinner under legislation in the state House.

Under proposed legislation, municipalities would have the option to create an ordinance allowing dogs in outdoor seating areas. Currently, only service animals are typically allowed.

State Rep. Margaret O'Brien, R-Portage, is one of the sponsors and says the change is a way to buoy the economy. O'Brien says some other states allow people to have dogs on outdoor patios.

Lawmakers are working with the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on rules that restaurants would have to follow. Those rules could include signs to inform the public that dogs are allowed and cleanliness standards to protect customers.